Josh Gordon’s appeal hearing began on Friday in New York City and it will not end until next week. The hearing reportedly started at 9:30 AM on Friday and lasted all day until 7:00 PM. The arbitrator overseeing Gordon’s case, Harold Henderson adjourned the session and agreed to start up again on Monday. The appeal was originally supposed to last most of the day Friday but was also expected to conclude on Friday.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had this to say about Gordon’s appeal, “Josh is going through the process right now, I am not a part of that process. They’ll make a decision based on the information that is exchanged today. At some point in time, I may have an opportunity to be involved. When I am, I look forward to meeting with him.” Goodell is in the thick of some well-deserved ridicule after handing down an absurdly light 2 game suspension to Ray Rice, for assaulting his wife.
One would have to believe that the extended appeal can only be a good sign for Gordon. Gordon’s defense has some merit after looking at the actual proof that they have. Gordon took two tests on the day in question, Test “A” failed at a level of 16 nanograms per milliliter which is just one nanogram above the NFL’s threshold of 15 ng./ml. Gordon’s second test, sample “B” passed at a level of 13.63 ng/ml. Gordon’s lawyers are reportedly using a “second-hand smoke” defense and will be contending that because the results of the two tests are in such contrast and came from the same urine specimen, they should be ruled invalid.
The NFL has always stood by the code, “You are responsible for what’s in your body”. However, even the flagrantly inconsistent NFL has to be able to see that something isn’t right here. Gordon may also benefit from the storm swirling around the Ray Rice ruling as Goodell has to be losing sleep trying to figure out how he would justify a more punitive penalty for Gordon’s case than Rice’s.
I believe that the NFL would be doing Gordon a huge disservice to stand by their season long ban. Gordon has had several peculiar run-ins with trouble of late, including a DWI that resulted with him checked into a rehab clinic in California before reporting to the Brown’s training camp in Berea. Keeping Gordon away from football would be the worst thing for him right now. In light of the discrepancy in Gordon’s test, I am inclined to believe that Gordon deserves another chance to resume his promising career. Help the kid get better, don’t shut him out completely.
By: Brad Ward
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